UK Government Grant to “Spiritual Warfare” Christian Group Criticised

From the UK’s National Secular Society:

The government recently gave thousands of pounds to a Christian group whose chair said Islam is “demonic” and “spiritual wickedness”, the National Secular Society has found.

Zion Projects, a Christian charity based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, is one of 16 religious organisations given a total of £1.3 million in public money as part of the government’s ‘Faith New Deal’ fund. Zion Projects was awarded £43,220 last year for a project entitled “As One Hampshire”.

A 2020 video… on Vimeo shows Danny Stupple, the chair and a trustee of Zion Projects, making anti-Islam comments during a Covid-19 lockdown meeting of the “Eastleigh Prophetic Hub”.

…In the same video, Stupple also suggests God is using the pandemic to “make the point of the value of life” because he anticipates “the same amount of babies being saved as the number of people who die” as a result of women being unable to get abortions during lockdown.

He also claims that Brexit is “important to the Lord” and that Dominic Cummings has an “anointing” to accomplish it.

According to Third Sector, the “government is urgently investigating” the matter, although it may be hampered by the fact that Stupple’s videos have disappeared from various streaming sites.

However, the segment discussed by the NSS has been reuploaded by a supporter on Bitchute. The context for Stupple’s discourse is Charismatic or Neo-Pentecostal “spritual warfare” beliefs, and he works his way through various “pillars” of society – this is instantly recognisable as the “Seven Mountain Mandate” of Christian dominionism, and they also feature on the Zion Projects website as “7 arenas”. Stupple believes that there is a “shaking” taking place in each “pillar”, but his observations do not necessarily all conform to right-wing conservatism; in particular, as regards the pillar of “business”, he is of the view that “legacy of slavery” is being exposed, and he refers negatively to “big business, represented by statues of people who made fortunes and built cities on the back of slavery”.

Despite the loss of output from streaming sites including Vimeo, Soundcloud and TuneIn, title listings remain visible. In 2021 discussions included “How History Informs Prophecy” in the British Isles from Phillip Quenby; a conversation with “Tomas Sandell Of The European Coalition For Israel”; “Eastleigh to Israel Bridge with Cody and Liat Archer in the Golan Heights”; and a guest appearance from Calvin Robinson. Stupple and his group have particular regard for a French evangelist named Pierre-Daniel Martin, who is based in Marseille (1) – the Bitchute video starts with Stupple referring to “four prophecies” that Martin had made. Zion Projects’ activities include the Annual Eastleigh Creation Conference, which promotes “open-minded scrutiny of the Darwinian evolutionary hypothesis and related human ideas which challenge the Christian faith”.

As noted by the NSS, in 2013 Stupple stood as an independent candidate in a local by-election; an archive of his campaign is still available on YouTube. He is also chair of Harvest Vision, a charity that has a trustee Timothy Vince, who in 2019 stood as a Brexit Party candidate in South Thanet.

“Prophetic Hubs” are an initiative of Clifford Hill, assisted by Dr Peter Carruthers. Hill has been a well-known figure in the UK Christian Right for decades, particularly via his magazine Prophecy Today and a stream of books that claim to provide “prophetic insight” into modern Britain. I noted his involvement with the 1980s Satanic Panic here.


1. P.-D. Martin’s background is discussed in a sociological paper here, which is primarily concerned with visits he has made to the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.

Anti-Covid Vax Influencers Enjoy “Champagne Reception” at Carlton Club

From the Evening Standard:

The Carlton Club, traditional home of the Conservative Party, hosted a champagne reception last week held by Andrew Bridgen MP and featuring other controversial “vaccine sceptic” figures… Organiser John Mappin invited Robert Malone, a vaccine-sceptic doctor, to give “evidence of the harms that the injections have done to innocent civilians”. Guests included Lawrence Fox and Nigel Farage… Not all got in: Richard Fairbrass, of band Right Said Fred, said he was refused entry for wearing the wrong trousers.

The millionaire Mappin famously co-founded Talking Point UK, although the organisation now prefers to downplay the association, and he is known for flying a “Q” flag above his castle-hotel in Cornwall in support of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Conspiracy influencers who have enjoyed his hospitality include Piers Corbyn, Laurence Fox and James Melville, and there was a previous Carlton Club dinner late last year that included Farage and Turning Point’s Charlie Kirk.

Mappin’s invitation card for the more recent event lists “Dr Aseem Malhotra, Dr Robert Malone MD, Dr Ryan Cole MD, Miss Eva Vaardingerbroek and other luminaries”; other attendees included Amanda Eliasch, Lady Victoria Hervey and Dominique Samuels of GB News, as well as Tonia Buxton, Toby Young, Matt Le Tissier and John Bowe. John Bye adds:

Although Mappin doesn’t mention her, HART and UsForThem spokeswoman Ros Jones appears to be skulking in the background of some photos, and Clare Craig may also have been present. Mappin does boast about the presence of Sir Benjamin Slade though, who seems quite a .. character.

Mappin also refers to Juliet Mayhew and claims that “Members of Parliament were in attendance. Other MPs sent along their parliamentary assistants”. He further boasts:

Ambassadors Representatives and press attaches from international embassies and presidential families were there and plans on how to rapidly inform young people as to the dangers of mRNA injections were discussed.

According to David Icke associate Leilani Dowding, the evening was “for people who were on the fence”, and it appears that the conspiracy influencer crowd made at least one new recruit in the form of Victoria Baker-Harber, a reality TV star who appeared on “Made in Chelsea”.

However, Bye notes that not all the conspiracy crowd were pleased to see their movement’s public face enjoying the trappings of an elite London club: having been denied entry, Fairbrass sniffed that he was “pleased I wasn’t there”, and criticised Malhotra for not mentioning the vaccine injured; meanwhile, Sonia Poulton observed “we are dealing with establishment people here” and complained about Malhotra’s ego. (1)


1. There appears to be an anti-Malhotra faction within the conspiracy movement, comprising Bob Moran, Abi Roberts and James Delingpole. Malhotra recently claimed to be vaccine injured himself, two days after Andrew Bridgen made a comparable supposed self-disclosure – both men originally promoted Covid vaccination, and presenting themselves as having suffered harm as a result of their decision may be a strategy to disarm less-forgiving truthers.

Protestors in Oxford Rail Against Low Traffic “Climate Lockdown”

From BBC News:

Thousands of people have joined a protest in Oxford against measures where roads are shut off to stop motorists driving through.

Campaigners gathered in Broad Street against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and traffic filters in the city.

Oxfordshire County Council says their aims are to cut congestion and air pollution.

Supporters say they improve safety but those against believe the restrictions threaten the freedom of motorists.

It is not unusual for a traffic flow control proposal to have critics, but they don’t usually attract thousands of protestors, including activists from outside the area. The difference is that the conspiracy crowd claim that the proposals for Oxford are a “climate lockdown“, in which residents will be confined to local areas against their will based on fabricated claims about climate change. This is seen as linked to Oxford’s “15-minute city” urban planning framework, although the two issues are actually distinct. The conspiracy milieu’s framing builds on discontent about lockdowns during the Covid pandemic, as well as beliefs about the World Economic Forum as an all-powerful malign entity directing world affairs under the cloak of concern for the environment. The protest movement seems to be a right-libertarian Mirror Universe version of Reclaim the Streets, with cars and carbon-fuel technology now representing resistance rather than the embodiment of corporate interests.

Rhetoric leading up to the protests has been overheated: Toby Young compared Oxfordshire County Council to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, and more recently an Oxford hotelier named Jeremy Mogford suggested that council members are “the Mengele equivalent”. Last month, the city was leafleted by “Not Our Future“, a group that has has grown out out of Covid conspiracism; echoing QAnon, the leaflet claimed that the group is “project managing” what it calls “the Great Awakening”.

Yesterday’s protest was covered for the Oxford Mail by their journalist Tom Seaward, who interviewed a number of participants and has uploaded clips. Figures with a public profile he encountered included David Kurten, whose Heritage Party contingent apparently represented a distinct separate demo; the ubiquitious Piers Corbyn; Druid leader King Arthur Uther Pendragon; and GB News’s Laurence Fox. One blast from the past was Jeff Marsh, formerly of Casuals United and now with the far-right Patriotic Alternative – he told Seaward that although he’s a white nationalist, this particular protest is not about about and so he couldn’t see why counter-protestors had a problem with his presence (1). Seaward has also uploaded a leaflet he was given.

Also monitoring the protest was the climate journalist Dave Vetter. His uploads show banners and stickers denouncing the WEF and describing Patrick Vallance, Boris Johnson, Chris Whitty and Matt Hancock as “globalist puppets” who are wanted for “mass murder”, as well as expressing climate change denial. One protestor he spoke to “told me that the Rothschilds control all governments, and told me that ‘Ashkenazi Jews aren’t like us’; ‘no one knows where they’re really from'”; another “says carbon is good because we’re made of carbon. ‘When they talk about reducing carbon they mean they want to reduce you.'” A leaflet he was given made the argument that oil companies actually benefit from “the Climate Change story” due to increased energy prices.

Of course, individual comments and banners are not necessarily representative of the event overall. In particular, too much significance could be read into the presence of Jeff Marsh – there doesn’t appear to have been any evidence of Patriotic Alternative paraphenalia on display, and most people there wouldn’t have recognised him or known anything about him.

Ahead of the protest, a flyer was posted online by Right Said Fred, billing as speakers Peter Ford, Dan Astin-Gregory, Mark Devlin, Paul Burgess and Jonathan Tilt. The flyer also features the logos of four groups: Resist & Act”, “British Lions for Freedom”, “#uniteforfreedom” and “Keep It Cash”.


1. Jeff Marsh’s background is with football hooliganism, and in 2009 he came to wider prominence with the Welsh Defence League, modelled on the English Defence League. At the time, he denounced neo-Nazi “idiots” – a view he must have revised if he’s now part of Mark Collett’s Patriotic Alternative. I previously browsed his hooligan memoir Soul Crew Seasiders, in which he fondly recalls antics such as graffiting pub toilets with human faeces.

Nordballs: Notes on Claims the US Blew Up Nord Stream

A Tweet from conspiracy influencer James Melville from back in September:

▪️Nord Stream 1 recently stopped sending gas to Germany
▪️Nord Stream 2 isn’t yet in service
▪️Nord Stream is Russia’s economic brinkmanship trump card

So why would Russia “sabotage” their own gas supply infrastructure when there is absolutely nothing to gain from doing so?

In response to a query about who he thought was responsible, he posted a clip of the Pet Shop Boys singing “Go West”, clearly implying western Europe and/or the USA.

At GB News, Mark Steyn was so impressed by Melville’s “I can’t think of a reason for Russia to blow up the pipelines, so therefore there can’t be one” line of non-reasoning that he invited him onto his show. Melville’s smug “it’s obvious it wasn’t Russia” talking point was typical of the conspirisphere, with Tucker Carlson making the same suggestion in the US.

In fact, there are several reasons why Russia might have done it, and an analyst named Emma Ashford came up with several suggestions: (1) Putin signaling that he can damage European energy infrastructure at will; (2) Putin “was tying his own hands and that of any future Russian leader by making it harder to back down from the war in Ukraine”; and (3) a “force majeure” basis to counter lawsuits against Gazprom for failure to supply. A further possibility was (4) Russian hawks acting independently of Putin, although Ashford regarded this as “improbable”.

Henry Farrell, a professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins, then added the observation that Russia is “the least vulnerable” to adverse outcomes: “The pipelines are obsolescing assets anyway – its leaders know that Europeans will never again rely on Russian gas supply, after it has been weaponized against them. Russia does not have any allies who’d be upset if it was fingered for it”.

Of course, none of this proves anything, but the contrast to the glib pronouncements of rent-a-gob all-purpose “commentators” is stark.

Several months on, the suggestion that the pipelines were bombed by the US rather than Russia has now received a boost from Seymour Hersh, who has made his case in a much-discussed 5000-word Substack post. Hersh’s account relies on “a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning”; as added context, he dredges up American controversies from the 1970s (the period appears to be his interpretative filter half a century later), and he includes public quotes from Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland as supposed gotchas. The story has been taken at face value by many, with coverage from Carlson, and pro-Russian Irish MEPs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly raising the matter in the European Parliament. Donald Trump Jr suggests that recent the train derailment in Ohio may be Russian retaliation for the bombing.

The UK’s Daily Mail has also gone all-in, with an article headlined “Did Biden give the order to destroy Putin’s Nord Stream pipeline after Ukraine invasion? Bombshell report claims Navy divers carried out mission to kill Russia’s gas stranglehold on Europe in audacious mission overseen by president”, complete with graphics and maps. One wonders why the word “report” was chosen over “article” – “report” has connotations of formal findings at the end of an investigative process. The Mail‘s hack, one Lewis Pennock, describes Hersh’s essay as “compelling”, and only near the end does he mention that Hersh’s “reporting has previously been criticized for its heavy reliance on unnamed and anonymous sources”.

However, Hersh’s article does not fare well under scrutiny. An OSINT analysis of specific details of the supposed “operation” has been published by Oliver Alexander, while Hersh’s underlying assumptions and narrative framing have been picked apart by the historian and energy researcher Simon Pirani. One small detail spotted by the military affairs reporter Wesley Morgan is that Hersh’s source describes the attack planning as a “goat fuck” – an unusual expression that just happens to have appeared previously in Hersh’s reporting. Norway is supposed to have been part of the US conspiracy, and Harald S. Klungtveit, an editor at Filter Nyheter, has further criticisms.

As regards the two “gotcha” quotes, Pirani deals with one:

Hersh refers to a press conference by US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz on 7 February 2022, where Biden said: “If Russia invades … there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will put an end to it.”

…Biden was answering the question, “did you receive assurances from chancellor Scholz that Germany will pull the plug on this project if Russia invades Ukraine?” Everyone in the room understood, and anyone who views the clip will see, that this is a conversation about whether the United States could convince Germany to nix the project.

And on 22 February, that’s what happened. The Kremlin formally recognised the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk – the clearest signal yet that it intended to invade Ukraine – and Scholz announced that German approval for Nord Stream was withdrawn. That meant the pipeline could not be used for the foreseeable future.

Any serious account of what led up to the explosions would have to explain this vital reversal of German policy. Hersh does not mention it.

Hersh similarly misleads on Nuland:

More recently, Victoria Nuland expressed satisfaction at the demise of the newest of the pipelines. Testifying at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in late January she told Senator Ted Cruz, “Like you, I am, and I think the Administration is, very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

This echoes Sergei Lavrov’s interpretation of her comment, which had already been addressed by Newsweek:

Her comment clearly meant that the Biden administration was pleased that the $11 billion Russian-owned pipeline—which the U.S. had opposed for years on the grounds that it increased European reliance on Russian energy—is not being used. Germany halted the recently finished project just before the invasion last February after Russia formally recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

The magazine also notes that she previously used the phrase in January 2022, and there’s also an example from March 2022 – in other words, the US administration already regarded Nord Stream as useless and defunct months before the bombings. If something that basic falls apart after a moment’s investigation, why should we believe anything else in Hersh’s piece? And why didn’t the Daily Mail spot this?

It’s doubtful that criticisms or calls for caution will have any effect – one of the best ways to con someone is to flatter them into thinking that they’ve seen through a con, and American denials will feed into this tendency. This may apply to Hersh himself – has he simply made up his source, or is he being manipulated by someone who has come to him with a tall tale that he was predisposed to accept?

UPDATE (21 February): Hersh has been doing a round of sympathetic interviews, ranging from Russell Brand through to the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. Here’s his blustering and incoherent reaction to the OSINT critique (square brackets in source):

The idea that you can’t change the markings on a plane, that you can’t have American pilots on a Norwegian plane, or Norwegian pilots on an American plane [is illogical]. Do you understand what I’m talking about? It’s not that hard [to manipulate it]. And when you use data only, the problem is, it still doesn’t explain a lot of other stuff. If they say “the ship wasn’t there,” are they saying that it didn’t happen? If they say “well the ship couldn’t have been there,” the next question is “So are you saying that there wasn’t an explosion there?” “Oh no, there was an explosion there, clearly it blew up, but it couldn’t have been that ship.” So then the issue still is: who blew it up? The basic issue doesn’t change.

(var. spelling: Nordstream)

Some Notes on TCW’s “Celebration of Dissent”

A flyer for a recent event that took place at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster:

“TCW” here is “TCW Defending Freedom”; the initials stand for “The Conservative Woman”, and there has been some mockery of the (wearily familiar) all-male line-up. In response, an aggrieved Calvin Robinson has posted photos showing that women were on stage at some points during the proceedings, although he doesn’t identify them.

“Dissent” here of course means Covid vaccination alarmism within the context of broader conspiricist currents: the only person with scientific credentials on the flyer is the UKIP oncologist Angus Dalgleish, although on the night he was joined by Mike Yeadon, as well as HART’s Clare Craig and Ros Jones. A generally sympathetic write-up of the evening on Toby Young’s Daily Sceptic website includes some criticism that Yeadon “strayed well off course on to central bank digital currencies”; the author should be grateful that Yeadon didn’t start talking about the moon landings or Satanic Ritual Abuse, given his range of conspiricist interests.

Despite the advertising, the evening was not in fact “hosted by Mark Dolan” – there was apparently a clash with his GB News show, which perhaps was just as well for him: according to Peter Walker, a journalist who was present (and who wrote the recent Guardian article about Neil Oliver), “GB News got a loud boo because of the way Mark Steyn left the channel”. From online clips, it appears that James Delingpole took over the compèring duties.

The evening ended, suprisingly, with what TCW’s Kathy Gyngell called “a rousing spontaneous audience rendition of #TheLordsPrayer”. However, the person leading the chant added a couple of modifications:

…Forgive us our tresspasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us PFIZER, and lead us not into temptation BILL GATES…

This is isn’t actually a call to “forgive” Pfizer, and Gyngell wrote it up as “save us from #Pfizer who trespass against us”. Thus the Lord’s Prayer is modified into a chant of accusation and ideological denunciation – a distortion so at odds with its intended purpose in Christian worship that the performance must surely amount to blasphemy. Rev. Robinson appeared to be OK with it, though.

The event also included input from members of the public who have experienced vaccine injury, although it’s not clear to what extent they are also on board with the wider agendas of the conspiricist influencers who are using them. According to TCW, Andrew Bridgen now claims that he himself is vaccine injured – if so, this would appear to be something that he has come to realise following his sudden (and conveniently timed) conversion to Covid conspiricism.

GB News’s Neil Oliver Criticised Over Conspiracy Theories

From the Guardian:

The UK’s leading Jewish organisation and a group of MPs have called on GB News and the media regulator Ofcom to tackle the broadcaster’s indulgence of conspiracy theories, warning that some recent segments and guests risked spreading ideas linked to antisemitism.

In particular, the article focuses on a recent monologue by Neil Oliver:

Oliver, who delivers trademark monologues to camera, used the show last Saturday to discuss what he called a “silent war” by generations of politicians to take “total control of the people” and impose a “one-world government”.

The striking phrase “silent war” appears to echo the title Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, “supposedly a secret manual for world government found by chance in 1986” that includes a section on the Rothschild banking family. On Twitter, the connection was made by GB News critic Matthew Sweet (1), although some of Oliver’s supporters also drew the same inference.


On the same show, one of Oliver’s guests was a man called William Keyte, introduced as a “constitutional expert”, who is a supporter of a fringe campaign group called the New Chartist Movement.

“Supporter” can mean a lot of things, and in this case it means active and high-profile involvement: several of Keyte’s presentations are posted on the New Chartist Movement website, with headlines thar refer to him informally as “Will”. One video shows a talk he gave to the fringe-right Democrats and Veterans Party in 2018, at an event I discussed here.

Keyte’s talk with Oliver was concerned only with “the supposed primacy of common law over parliament”. However:

the New Chartist Movement website contains articles written by other members and contributors that contain antisemitic-linked ideas… [These] include one arguing that the “corporate and banking Deep State, completely supported by the Zionist state of Israel” plans to take control of UK politics… Another argues that the “House of Rothschild” has a pivotal role in world affairs.

Oliver’s supporters complain that it is unfair to link him with these wider claims: on Twitter, he has RTed a number of supportive messages along these lines, including from Israelis. However, he hasn’t directly addressed where he stands in relation to the discourses that he has effectively signposted. If he didn’t mean to evoke Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, why not say so? If he thinks the document has some value but he doesn’t believe its Rothschild conspiracy content, why doesn’t he clarify this, and explain his reasoning for nevertheless drawing on it? Does he think that the New Chartist Movement website has no bearing on Keyte’s credibility?

This is not “guilt by association”: when activists make a public show of political and personal affinity it’s reasonable to press them on how far the mutual endorsement goes, even though they may prefer ambiguity.

Those expressing their support for Oliver include Laurence Fox, who objects to Matthew noting the apparent Silent Weapons link (“Seriously close to defamation, you quintuple jabbed man sheep”); Calvin Robinson, who calls his GB New colleague “The Prophet” and suggests that the Guardian article was written at the behest of Bill Gates (2); and from the USA Emerald Robinson (“the communist frauds at @guardian are trying to get him fired”) (3).

Matthew was already in the sights of GB News supporters, having urged broadcasting regulator Ofcom to act regarding its presenter Mark Steyn. Steyn has now quit the channel, to the fury of fans. Those complaining include Godrey Bloom, who was at the same 2018 event as Keyte (“Do you feel your vilification of a fellow journalist is somehow morally superior?”) and a Loose Women regular named Carol McGiffin (“You are sick. Get help”). Former Crimewatch host Sue Cook chipped in with an “angry face” emjoi.

Last August, GB News decided to delete an interview between Oliver and Peter Sweden rather than offer a defence.

UPDATE: In a follow-up thread, Matthew notes a new podcast in which Keyte “celebrates his appearance on @GBNews, admiring Oliver’s facility for relaying his ideas”. He quotes Keyre as saying Oliver is “a great guy, very much on his journey” and “reading a lot of things that I had written and thinking”. As well as the New Chartist Movement, Keyte is also involved with a group called the Hardwick Alliance for Real Ecoology, and according to Matthew “Keyte claims that he and his friends at the Hardwick Alliance have been meeting and chatting with Neil Oliver for weeks”.

This is significant, as the Hardwick Alliance’s Twitter account has various references to “Zionist bankers”, “Fake Jews” and the Rothschilds, and David Icke is billed as involved. Matthew also notes that the group’s website explicitly uses the phrase “silent weapons for quiet wars”. It’s possible that Oliver was unaware that this was also the title of a conspiracy document, but what he may or may not know is of less urgency than the fact that the group is using him and GB News to spread their message and amplify their leaders.


1. Matthew initially misquoted the title as “Secret Weapons for Silent Wars” before correcting himself.

2. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the paper’s Global Development section, and items that receive funding are clearly marked as such. Conspiricists, however, believe that the influence goes further, and that the Guardian‘s coverage in general can therefore be disregarded. George Monbiot responded to the false allegation that he writes to order last August.

One person replying to Calvin Robinson drew a distinction between “Conservative/Orthodox Jews whom are pro-Israel, pro-America, pro-Trump” and “secular Jews”, writing that “Secular Jews own the American Marxist Movement that has damaged America”. This analysis got a “Like” from Robinson, although he has since removed it. Former MEP Lance Forman, who is Jewish, meanwhile made some weak criticism that this was “a very broad generalisation for which there will be many exceptions”.

3. Robinson was removed from Newsmax in 2021 after claiming that Covid vaccinations contain “a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that you can be tracked”, which she then linked to the Book of Revelation. Oliver has responded to her support with an expression of mutual solidarity.

Conspiricists Claim Heart Risk Media Stories are Vaccine Harm Cover Stories

Stories about health and wellbeing have long been a newspaper staple – unlike many news subjects, claims about whether a particular food or lifestyle practice might extend or cut short one’s time on earth are directly relevant to readers’ lives. The material is often taken from genuine scientific studies, which are frequently sensationalised for journalistic effect. Perhaps the most famous outcome is the “Daily Mail Cancer List”, which has been made into a song.

However, the genre is also now of interest to conspiracy theorists, who allege that articles are being planted in the media as a cover story for deaths and injuries caused by Covid vaccination – as such, like public defibrillators, the existence of such stories is evidence of vaccine harm even though they appear to be about something else.

In particular, James Melville regularly boosts his engagement by posting a collage of headlines along with the commentary “They are gaslighting us”. Thousands of followers immediately feel that they have cleverly seen through a deceptive and sinister narrative. This impression is perhaps helped by the fact that the process by which an academic study eventually reaches the media is often opaque and seems to be random – there may be a transmission chain from one source to another over an extended period before a journalist chances upon a bit of easy work.

Are journalists trawling through studies to produce misleading material? Or are scientists creating bogus studies in order to manipulate the media? Melville doesn’t say, but his claim is primarily emotional rather than a reasoned argument built on evidence. His collage is hardly a dataset – it’s a random collection without clearly defined inclusion criteria as regards either time period or location; nor is it contextualised within broader health-reporting trends. However, it has been unpicked in some detail by James Nite, whose Twitter thread can be seen here. Melville’s sources, as logged by Nite, are as follows:

Express article “Heart attack: Does skipping breakfast increase your risk?”: published 12 December 2021, based on a 2019 study [link];

Times article “Lonely older women at greater risk of heart attack, study shows”: published 2 February 2022, based on a 2022 study using retrospective data from 2011-2019 [link];

CNN article “Climate change could hurt babies’ hearts, study says”: published 30 January 2019, based on a 2019 study using 1995-2007 data and projection data [link];

Daily Mail article “Expert warns that shoveling snow can be a deadly way to discover underlying cardiovascular conditions as straining the heart with physical activity could cause sudden death”: published 2 February 2022, quotes a cardiologist who has been researching the stress of exercise on the heart since 2017 [link];

Sunday Times article “Rise in heart attacks attributed to pandemic stress and poor diet”: published 16 October 2022 and ironically based a rent-a-quote from Aseem Malhotra, from before he found new audiences as a prominent Covid vaccination alarmist [link];

Irish Times article “Physical activity may increase heart attack risk, study suggests”: published 20 September 2021, based on a 2021 study using data from 2011-2017; [link];

Express article “Heart attack: The drink that could trigger a ‘sudden’ cardiac arrest – ‘catastrophic'”: published 2 February 2022, based on a short 2017 letter to an academic journal [link];

New York Post article “The little-known heart attack that’s striking ‘fit and healthy’ women as young as 22”: published 26 October 2021, based on a 2017 Mayo Clinic article on SCAD and reports dating back more than 10 years [link];

Mail Online article “Do YOU live under a flight path? You may be at risk of a heart attack: Study finds rates are 70 PER CENT higher in noisiest areas”: published 23 March 2022, based on a 2022 poster abstract using a dataset from 2018 [link];

Guardian article “Hotter nights increase risk of death from heart disease for men in early 60s”: published 29 March 2022, based on a 2021 study using 2001-2015 data [link];

Sun article “GREEN FINGERS Urgent warning to gardeners as soil ‘increases risk of killer heart disease'”: published 14 November 2022, based on studies (here, here and here) using 2005-2017 datasets [link]; and

New York Post article “Falling asleep with the TV on could bring early death: study”: published 28 June 2022, based on a 2022 study using 2007-2010 data [link].

Alongside Melville’s collage we can add a few more examples:

Express article “Blood clots: Compound found in eggs linked to an enhanced risk of blood clotting”: published 26 January 2022, based on a 2017 study from the Cleveland clinic.

Fake news website YourNewsWire re-wrote this article as “Scientists warn eggs are causing thousands of people to ‘suddenly’ form blood clots”, playing on “Died Suddenly” sensationalism and obviously implying that the study was concocted to explain away some “sudden” public health crisis. That one was promoted by conspiricist novelty pop-duo Right Said Fred.


BMJ study “Artificial sweeteners and risk of cardiovascular diseases: results from the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort”: published 7 September 2022.

Fake news website Slay News wrote this one up as “Artificial sweeteners behind spike in sudden deaths, heart attacks, ‘experts’ claim”. The BMJ article of course referenced no such “spike”, although Melville didn’t bother to check when he chose to promote the bogus headline with “eyes” emoji, his way of indicating that a headline reveals some hidden truth to the discerning.

One more item doing the rounds (but not promoted by Melville):

Falsely attributed to BBC News: “Breathing too many times a day could raise your risk of a deadly heart attack”.

That one was a hoax, as discussed by Reuters.

Nite theorises that such stories are being used by the media to “stoke” the idea of vaccine injury, and that “they actively exploit public paranoia & their own negative perception”. It is reasonable to suppose that increased anxiety about heart attacks is likely to drive media content creation.

There is also some suspicion that the phrase “died suddenly” is making its way into headlines to take advantage of public fears. This is certainly the case with some fringe-right sites: Breibart recently ran a piece headlined “Simon Dunn, famed Australian Olympian and rugby player, dies suddenly at 35”, which was then amplified by Nigel Farage. However, the trend towards clickbait headlines mean that the phrase has opportunistic as well as ideological attractions.